A few weeks ago I was asked to style Norman Reedus, aka "Daryl" from The Walking Dead, for the cover of DOWNTOWN Magazine. (A tough job but someone's got to do it!)
The photo shoot took place on the 57th floor of 4 World Trade Center and the photographer, Leslie Hassler, captured him brilliantly leaning on the window ledge with the city skyline behind him. It was a very cool experience to work with such a talented team, and just posting a few behind the scenes pics of him on Instagram made me realize what a huge fan base and following he has!
I took a huge rack of clothes, accessories and shoes to the shoot location because, while I had an idea of how I wanted to style him, I knew I wouldn’t be able to put the final looks together until I met him in person and got a feel for his personality. I know from when I style my clients, an individual's personality has to be reflected in the way they dress otherwise they won’t feel authentic or comfortable in what they're wearing.
Reedus played some Fleetwood Mac on his phone, snuck out to the terrace to have a cigarette then he and I went through the clothes I’d selected for him. So here’s what I learned from styling Norman Reedus:
Suits are for bad boys
You’ve probably seen the trend toward dressing up grow over the past few years, but seeing this bad boy lean toward suits rather than more casual tees and jeans confirmed that suiting up is hotter than ever – especially when not required and unexpected.
Accessories add an edge
For the cover we dressed him in a John Varvatos slim fitting suit and tie with a grey shirt, unbuttoned at the collar. The finishing details made the look. He wore a chunky Tissot watch, a really cool nail head tie bar by Hook & Albert and a slightly more rugged belt by Trafalgar. Oh, and gorgeous brown monkstrap shoes by Paul Drish.
Breaking the rules is a must
It was freezing the day of the shoot but we ventured out onto the icy terrace and photographed Reedus with the Freedom Tower as the backdrop. For this shot I took a brown textured jacket from a Canali suit, paired with the actor’s super worn-in jeans and a blue-grey chambray shirt by UNTUCKit. Canali is a classic Italian suit maker and wouldn't usually be my first choice to dress a “zombie killer”, but the texture and color of the jacket paired with the grey shirt and navy tie looked amazing on him and proved that it’s always worth breaking the rules.
The right shirt is essential
I paired the blue-grey chambray shirt by UNTUCKit with a knit tie by Hook & Albert. The fit was perfect. In fact, Norman said the shirt was his favorite thing from the whole shoot, so I told him to keep it. It did look really good on him. What’s cool about UNTUCKit is that the shirts are made specifically to be worn untucked (even though we tucked it in!) – a lot of men’s shirts are too long and roomy to wear out and end up making guys look sloppy rather than casual, but this line has their fit and fabric just right.
Real men wear hats
I love hats but not everyone feels comfortable wearing them. Norman Reedus, however, rocked the Goorin Bros wool fedora. It completely transformed his look (and maybe kept the chill off his face – did I mention it was freezing that day – so cold that Reedus wore long johns under his suit for the whole shoot!)